T.I. is breaking his silence for the first time his controversial comments about his daughter’s virginity.
Sitting down with his wife Tiny on Jada Pinkett Smith’s “Red Table Talk,” Tip addressed the backlash he received following his appearance on the “Ladies Like Us” podcast earlier this month, where he said he takes his 18-year-old daughter, Deyjah Harris, to the gynecologist each year to “check her hymen” and make sure she’s still a virgin.
He started off by clearing up any misconceptions. “My intentions have been terribly misconstrued and misconceived,” said Tip. “Let me go set this record straight. Never said I was in any exam room. That is an assumption. That is a falsity. I never said that it was being done present day, as an 18-year-old. I never said that her mother wasn’t present. Her mom was present and everything. This false narrative has just been sensationalized.”
He apologized to his daughter and clarified that they only did this on a couple occasions, when Deyjah was 15 or 16 years old. But it’s no longer happening. Her mother, singer Ms. Niko, was present every time.
“There was never any objection [from Deyjah]. She did have a problem with me talking about it, however,” said Tip. “And I understand that. And I am incredibly apologetic to her for that. To her. To you, sweet baby Deyjah. Not to any of these other strangers, any of these weirdos who toss lies around for fun. She understands my intentions, she knows who I am, she knows who I’ve always been. That allows a certain level of understanding. The outside, the noise is distracting.”
He said he avoided addressing “hymen-gate” at the request of his daughter, who eventually had a change of heart. “My daughter said, ‘Just let it go. Don’t say nothing, just let it go.’ And I didn’t,” he said. “Until I had different directives. ‘OK, go ‘head, make it stop. Clear it up.’ I would not be here today had I not had those different directives. I would still be sitting in silence.”
Tip also compared his daughter getting pregnant to his son getting a girl pregnant. “If my son goes out and gets a girl pregnant, how is the household changed for those nine months? The household is not necessarily changed those nine months, whereas if my daughter comes home, my household is changed immediately.”
Plus, the 39-year-old rapper shared his take on feminism. “I think that feminists sometimes, it can be misconstrued by people who don’t understand it as women wanting men to stop silencing them, so they can silence men.”
After his hymen comments went viral and sparked outrage, the “Ladies Like Us” podcast hosts, Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham, issued an apology. Deyjah also unfollowed her father before deleting her social media accounts.
Watch Tip’s “Red Table Talk” below.